Housing Boom

Red-hot Houston bucks this nationwide real estate trend

Red-hot Houston bucks this nationwide real estate trend

1 On the Market Vince Young Royal Oaks house 12006 Legend Manor Drive October 2014 exterior front day
Home inventory is up in Houston. Photo by © Mel Garrett/Houston Association of Realtors

Zillow reports that the number of for-sale homes across the nation is dropping at its fastest pace in almost four years, but that's definitely not the case in Houston.

Our red-hot real estate market has 9 percent more homes for sale this year than last, with single-family home rentals also on an upward trajectory.

Nationally, home shoppers have 9 percent fewer homes from which to choose this year. That's the greatest drop in inventory since August 2013, when inventory was down more than 10 percent. Zillow says those rentals are to blame, but even a 59 percent local increase in home rentals can't slow Houston down.

"Thousands of single-family homes that were once bought and sold every few years prior to the recession have now been converted into rental properties by investors, trading hands much less frequently and further contributing to inventory shortages," says Zillow's chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Inventory has been falling for years, with supply no longer meeting demand."

The typical home stayed on the market for just 77 days in April, the fewest days ever reported on Zillow. In Houston, that time frame was 100 days. That might be because Houston is experiencing a median home value decrease of 2.7 percent, the most significant in the study and much lower than the national median increase of 7.4 percent. The median home value in Houston, according to Zillow, is currently $175,800.

Home inventory is rising rapidly in Austin, which has a nearly 24 percent increase — by far the most in the nation. Home values there are up a healthy 7.5 percent, with rental inventory also up 65.5 percent.

Dallas-Fort Worth is also seeing a massive jump in value: a 11.2 percent increase that's second only to Seattle. Inventory in DFW is up a healthy 8.3 percent, with rental inventory also up 66 percent.

San Antonio is the only Texas city with lower inventory, but it's negligible, at a mere 0.9 percent. Home values there are also lower than the national median, up only 5.7 percent, while rental growth is also lagging at 38.8 percent.